Regional HIV/AIDS prevention centre opens in Santa Clara
Campaign News | Wednesday, 14 April 2004
Project financed by Japan through the UN Development Programme
A new Regional Centre for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS has been inaugurated in the central city of Santa Clara.
The centre, installed in a beautiful mansion, was remodeled and equipped as part of a support project for the prevention of STDs and HIV/AIDS with a $1 million grant from the Japanese Trust Fund for Human Security, through the UN Development Programmw (UNDP).
On behalf of the centre, the provincial director of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Dr. Orlando Diaz, expressed his gratitude to the sponsors for the possibility of raising a modern institution that will give a strong impetus to necessary prevention work among vulnerable groups in the region’s population.
Tatsuaki Iwata, the Japanese ambassador, congratulated those involved in the facilitating the refurbishment and functioning of the centre and a similar one soon to be inaugurated in Santiago de Cuba.
The project is also contributing assistance to the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Centre in Havana, which due to the high quality of its work, is to be a regional Reference Centre.
The Japanese diplomat highlighted as fruitful the association with UNDP, and affirmed that his country would be willing to undertake new cooperation projects with Cuba in the immediate future.
Bruno Moro, the UN permanent representative to Cuba, also congratulated the Cuban authorities for getting the centre underway, thanked the Japanese government and its representative in Cuba, and noted that UN institutions are ready to work together again with Japan on new development projects in Cuba.
The new installation is to exercise a beneficial influence over a wide-ranging area in central Cuba that includes the provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spíritus. Its labours are combined with a sexual education programme for junior high school students all over the country sponsored by the UN Population Fund in Cuba in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
Together with efforts to adequately inform and educate at-risk groups, Cuba is developing a special programme of medical, economic and social attention to sero-positive Cubans that has yielded excellent results.
This has contributed to the country’s level of infection being among the lowest in the world, in a region - the Caribbean - characterized by the explosive advance of the epidemic.
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